My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It’s not a perfect book. Sometimes the perspective seemed a bit confusing, changing from one character’s point-of-view to another character’s point-of-view several times in a chapter. Sometimes I felt that something was going to happen, but it took quite a while for that something to happen, long enough to where I was actually able to form my own conclusion on it and have it confirmed a couple of chapters later. Maybe that’s just me, but it felt anti-climactic at those moments. Luckily, there were few of them.
Overall, the story itself is awesome. The characters are very fantastical, and the author basically made very sure not to stereotype them just by the way they looked or by how they were always perceived in the human world.
There’s a lot of metaphors involving the frivolity of human wants compared to their needs, perceptions of those who are different than us, and most especially those who are the same as us, or those we think are the same as us.
There’s pain, and it’s not just from the romantic side of things in the book, but also from the familial side, which sometimes can be the worst kind of pain, if the author is writing the story effectively. Laini does so very well in this book. The sense of loss, of hopelessness, of agony, and of anger. It was great, and it hurt at the same time, reading the characters and what you could probably understand them going through. It hurt very much.
I don’t think I was entirely happy with the way the book ended, but yet, it was effective. I’ve already bought the 2nd book and have just read the first chapter.
I love these characters and I can’t wait to read more about Karou, Akiva, and many others. Surprisingly, there weren’t any characters that I found annoying, or at least none that I am supposed to like. None were overbearing or whiny or unrealistic in their emotions or attitude. It was nice to not look at a name and go “Ugh! Not that one again. Let me just skip that.”
Of course, what’s interesting to me is Laini’s use of the terms “angels” and “demons.” I suppose she uses it to give the readers familiarity in accordance with their appearance, but it definitely not used in the perspective of Christian terminology. For me, it’s something I had to adjust to, as I had to do for “Hush, Hush” or the TMI/TID series.
I give it 3.5 for writing style and pace, but 4 for story and characterization